When a glamorous literary agent falls prey to a violent stalker, she discovers that the publishing biz can really be murder, for fans of The Spellman Files and Maisie Dobbs
“Suspenseful . . . Barbara Rogan cleverly explores . . . our capacity for self-deception and weaves it into an absorbing mystery that keeps its secret until the very end.”
Jo Donovan always manages to come out on top. Originally from the backwoods of Appalachia, she forged a hard path to elegant lunches and parties among New York City’s literati. At thirty-five, she’s the widow of the renowned novelist (and notorious playboy) Hugo Donovan, the owner of one of the best literary agencies in town, and is one of the most sought-after agents in the business. But all this is about to fall apart, as a would-be client turns stalker, a hack shops around a proposal for an unauthorized tell-all biography of Hugo, and a handsome old flame shows up without warning.
Both a seasoned author and a former literary agent herself, Barbara Rogan knows the publishing world from all angles. Fans of Lisa Lutz and Jaqueline Winspear will adore Jo Donovan and Rogan’s wickedly sharp tale that skewers the dangerous fictions we read—and the dangerous fictions we tell ourselves.
Someone in the New York publishing world is targeting literary agent Jo Donovan, the appealing, empathetic narrator of this clever mystery from Rogan (Suspicion), herself a former book editor and agent. Jo's troubles begin when an aspiring writer she calls "Sam Spade" because of "a fedora tilted down over his face" brazenly attempts to peddle his manuscript to her on a Manhattan sidewalk. Later, Jo's e-mail is hacked, she is defamed, and her most successful client is murdered. Plenty of other people besides Spade have reason to resent Jo: Charlie Malvino, whom she recently fired from her agency; disgruntled fellow agent Harriet Peagoody; Teddy Pendragon, the prying biographer of her late husband, Hugo Donovan, a famous author; and Det. Tom Cullen, who once wanted to marry her. As she roots around for possible motives and suspects, Jo questions her past, recasting years of what she used to think of as pure happiness in a more realistic light.